Three Weird Reasons my House Looks Better Than Yours Online


I’m not a photographer. Frankly, my photos are pretty bad. And the stuff in my house is loved on, lived in and imperfect. Sadly, part of my job is taking photos of the stuff in my home and I need all the help I can get.

I have to take a ton of photos of my home so at times it can almost feel like a set, but also, we live here and living takes precedence over photos. Plus throw in the mix that I’m an imperfectionsits who values pretty and quick and over the years I’ve found some ways to live in my house that are a little different than your average person. They aren’t better, actually, they might be ‘worse’ than someone else, but, it makes living in a home that is slightly more photogenic for this non-photographer much more doable.

Get ready for some bad photos of windows, because taking photos of windows is my personal nightmare.

DSC_0259 no blinds no screens

1. I take the screens out of the windows

I love to have the windows open in the spring and fall. So I keep a few screens in the windows in the sides of our house and in the back door and most of our upstairs windows have screens. And in early spring I can open the screen-less windows without a threat of bugs anyway–although we have had a bird or two in the house. A small price to pay for the sparkly light we get when we go screen-less.

Downstairs, in the main rooms, all the screens are removed and stored away neatly in the garage. Do you know how dark screens are? Removing a screen can make a room brighter and also make the outdoors look more vivid from the inside. Plus, if a window in in the picture, not having a screen looks better. As soon as we move in a house I usually remove the screens on the front and back of the house. Even from the street the house looks instantly more crisp and clean. Feel free to send your non-anti-screen hate mail to:

breakfast areano blinds, no screens in my windows

2. I take the blinds completely out in rooms where I don’t use them

Remember, I’m a renter, so I’m not going to dish out a bunch of money to replace a bunch of blinds that aren’t my style. So one way to deal with blinds I neither like nor use is to remove them. Our breakfast area has seven windows and a door–all with blinds on them when we moved. Yes, the door had two inches of blinds sticking out and making noise every time you opened and closed it. I removed the blinds and the hardware, labeled them and wrapped them in trash bags and stored them in the attic. If you look closely, you can still see all the holes for the hardware, no need to fill them, if the next person who moves in want’s the blinds up it will be easy to pop them back in. This room on the back of the house with a pretty view was begging for those pesky blinds to be gone.


Downstairs I only have two windows out of 12 where I left the blinds up. One is my office because I work there at dark-thirty in the morning and I don’t want to be watched by the boogeyman who could be walking down my street while I’m in a lit up office on the front of our house at 5 am in the morning. The second window is one behind our sectional that looks out to our next door neighbor’s driveway. Our homes are really close in this neighborhood so it’s nice to be able to close that one blind down and not submit them to the underbelly of craziness that is us.

blindsblinds down in our room in the evening

We kept the blinds in our room, thankyouverymuch. I’m not telling everyone that removing blinds is the best solution, I’m simply saying that it should be included in a list of possible solutions. It’s worked for me. And really, this is one of those tips that look good for photos but even better in person. Send your non-anti-blind hate mail to:

tufted bed

Because our windows in our bedroom face east, in the morning you don’t even see our blinds in photos.

fireplace with and without woodcontrasting wood makes my firebox say ‘POW, look at me!’

3. I pay attention to our fireplace

I put nice looking wood in the fireplace from last winter burn to first fall burn. It’s sad enough to have a pretend, gas fireplace with tiny pretend looking logs, there’s no reason you can’t put wood in it when you are not using it, as long as you remember to remove it before you turn on the fireplace. I wanted contrasasting branches and I couldn’t find any white looking birch around my town so, I did the embarrassing thing and ordered birch branches on ebay {insert eye roll here}.

reflectionyuck, what’s with the big reflection in our firebox?!

Also, our gas fireplace came complete with a thick sheet of reflective glass put in place to block any heat that might try to transfer from the actual fire into the room. Because who would want that? I really have no idea why that glass is there, I googled it to death a few years ago, *decided it wouldn’t kill us to remove it, and it’s been packed away in the closet for three years. The only time I put it in is if it gets SUPER cold in the winter, I’ll pop it in at night (because it does seem to have a tiny flu and cold air comes out when it’s especially cold.) Send your non-anti-glass hate mail to: *Nesting Place not responsible for deaths if you remove your glass and die, you are on your own.

Your turn, I know you are crazy smart and have fabulous tweaks like this that have worked well for you. Share them in the comments!

This post has two parts, don’t forget to read  the next post: 3 Reasons my house looks worse in real life

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  1. the boogey man.
    that was hilarious
    & i’ll be your wingman…signed, hater of all screens & blinds too.
    poof. they’ve been gone since day 1

  2. These are genius tweaks. I’ll be removing the screens at my house, for sure. This is such a very pretty rental. I die over that breakfast area. So many windows!

  3. I love this post. I do so many silly things to make our house look nice that my husband and I’m sure more people would roll their eyes at! But if it makes your home lovely and you happy- then why not go through the trouble of removing screens or buying birch logs! I love it! Bravo!

  4. I remember when I redecorated our family room not too long ago. It’s amazing what taking out the blinds really does to the room so much brighter and cleaner. Your home looks fantastic. I love the colors! Great post.

  5. My husband and I are locked in battle over security bars on all the windows , argh why? I feel like I’m in jail, he’s more concerned that someone will try to steal all our precious clutter – my argument goes like this 1. Sometimes I go out and forget to close the front door, sometimes for a whole day even! What good are bars on all the windows when the theives could walk through the door. 2. We have contents insurance that covers us for theft as well as break and enter. So in the event of someone walking in through a door I have absent kindly forgotten to close and taking our stuff we are covered. 3. We live in a poor neighbourhood, the thieves all live in this part of town and go else where to do their thievery – it’s true, our contents insurance actually went down when we moved here- and for this very reason, the lady at the insurance company told me so. Thank you and welcome to the neighbourhood. 4. we could install keyed window locks if it makes him happy, I may potentially forget to to close them – wait no I will remember to close them due to the sudden downpours and unexpected thunder storms we have here in the sunshine state . I may however forget to to lock them, which brings me back to point 2.
    I will eventually get my way , I nearly always do in the end.
    I’m with you about the screens but sadly we live in subtropical Brisbane and there’s a wide variety of bugs all year round, we also use them to stop our cats from going outside and eating the wildlife, so stay they must claw marks and all. Meanwhile I’m contemplating the mould growing on the bedroom venetians ( everything goes mouldy in this ridiculous climate) and wishing there was a better way to achieve privacy from our too close neighbours and still let air circulate in the room.

  6. I started removing window screens fifteen years ago for two reasons: to let in more light and I hate cleaning them! : ) I have no window treatments on my current windows because they are expensive, I’m very indecisive, and I hate to clean blinds, too. Great post!!

  7. These are great tips! I rent too and have terrible blinds AND a gas fireplace with a glass front. Definitely going to be employing these tips (if my husband lets me) so our house can be a little more photogenic!

  8. Good tips! I tell people my house looks much better in the pictures than in real life. I can push all the mess in the corner for a picture. In real life the mess is still there. Photoshop and cropping are my friend! I recently found some tips on pinterest about taking better pictures with my iphone and the pictures actually turn out pretty darn good. Thanks for your tips, will keep them in mind next time I am snapping my pics.

  9. i love when you talk about the boogieman.
    i wonder if someone will actually try to email you at those addresses you gave. i bet so.

  10. I finally got the gumption to pull the screens of my windows in my front room. I don’t even know why they had screens in the first place – they were painted shut! It really is crazy how big of a difference it makes!

  11. I hate blinds too! The only ones I can stand are the room-darkening honeycomb style that practically disappear when pushed up. So glad I’ve moved to the country where no one is close enough to look in my blind-less windows! (I do keep them in the bedrooms to make it dark enough for me to sleep.) Now, to check the screen situation….Thanks!

  12. How funny! …seems like many of us can join your “anti-blind and screen” club.

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    Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate!

    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

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  16. Cute interior furnishing and interior decoration!

  17. Putting real wood in the gas fireplace throughout the year is a great idea! Those little fake logs always disappoint me, but I’m used to them by now. I’ll definitely be doing that this spring and summer. Great blog!

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